Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Letter from Kirstin June 3 & 5

June 3, 2013
Dear Family,

This week has been kind of slow, but we did get a new investigator; her name is Sharon and is from the south. She is in her 60’s but looks like she is in her 40’s. She worked for the army in destroying chemical weapons and she is a lesbian. She was married twice before and has kids, but her first husband was abusive, which is probably part of the reason why she is lesbian. Her partner in in Iraq working kind of as a geologist (I think she detects bombs/mines in the ground.) Sharon used to be a Jehovah’s Witness but she said that they just weren’t logical; one minute they would say ‘God loves you’ and then the next they would say ‘You will burn in hell for your sins’ and she didn’t like it. We taught her the plan of salvation and she loved it because she said that it made sense completely. Next time we teach her we will be going over the Restoration. We have also been talking to a lot of people (a lot of door knocking) and we have actually met a lot of Iranians (mostly speaking Farsi and very little English). There has been a back-order on Farsi Book of Mormons so we are not able to get these for them. I don’t think that we will be teaching them since they do not speak English and we do not speak Farsi.
Later we met a lady from the Philippines and we gave her a Book of Mormon and she wants to read it and she wants us to come back and teach her and her son because she wants him to also hear the gospel. She told us “There is such peace around you guys”, she is like the perfect investigator; I can’t wait to start teaching her.
There are a lot of things happening in the mission soon (transfers). My companion/trainer is being moved to the Bakersfield mission (when the mission is split) and I will be getting a new companion/ trainer. I’m not very excited about this since I really do not know what kind of a companion I could get; will they be excited about the work or not?
The weather continues to get worse here, the other day it was 104° F, it is dreadful. I hope I get used to it soon or it cools down a bit so I don’t die of heat exhaustion (which I kind of experienced but not too badly.) Other than that it is going pretty well, the work is picking up.

Love, Sister Reese


June 5, 2013
This is more of an update since a lot has happened after I already sealed the first letter.
Those that know me, know that I love Russian, and met a Russian lady as we walked around and I got to try a little Russian with her. She spoke English because she has been in the US for 20 years. It was great!
We went back and taught the lady from the Philippines and it was amazing! She used to be Catholic so she knows a lot of the doctrines which is great. When we first met her we told her to read 2 Nephi 31 which she had read. It was such a great lesson and at the end we asked her to be baptized and she went to the side of answering; she asked us how we do it and after we explained it, she said that she wants her whole family to be baptized. She has a son & her husband in England and a daughter that lives in Santa Clarita and a son that lives with her. She and her husband are separated but not divorced. We asked her to be baptized on June 29 but she didn’t really say a date since it will be probably 6 weeks before she can be baptized because she is a nurse and works every other weekend and they have to attend church at least three times before they can be baptized. She is definitely interested.
After meeting with her, Satan came after us. We went to dinner with a member (the one who is 84 years old) at a restaurant and we met some crazy people. One of them kept talking to about how he can see orbs and he can travel to different realms and sometimes a wall will come up when he is trying to talk to people, he said that we would hear about it and accept it. No chance. He kept talking so we just walked away. Then this guy’s friend comes up to us next and said that we don’t read the Bible, we told him we do and he said “no you don’t or else you would know that it says God is a jealous God and you shouldn’t have any other Gods.” We told him we didn’t but he was being rude about it. Then he called us Satan. Really? So dumb. So we just said have a nice day and walked away. We finally sat down with our member to eat dinner and while we were eating this guy came up to our table and tells the member to pray for us and she was so great and cute, she said “I’ll pray for you,” but the guy said “no, you need to pray for them, they are demons.” Then he started talking about global warming which our member said that she didn’t believe in, then he started talking about the resurrection and that he will be in heaven. He was so crazy; he doesn’t understand anything, not even the Bible correctly. He finally left us alone for a while until my companion and I went to get dessert and he came up to us again and said that we shouldn’t hate people; we said that we don’t. Then Sister Dyreng said you are provoking me, I’m just trying to eat. Then he said “why don’t you just say God bless you?” We said “God bless you” and he walked away and called us Satan. Satan knows that the Philippine lady is ready and that he is trying to break us down, but it’s not going to work because we know what he is doing and we are not like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. We are built on the rock of our Redeemer which is a sure foundation. (Helaman 5:12).
Anyways, that is over and it’s a new day and we are back on track again. We have six investigators, many formers and potentials, and we are hoping to have at least two more investigators this week. We want to have a total of ten before Sister Dyreng leaves in about 1 ½ - 2 weeks. The work is really flourishing here and that’s the best part.
Love, Sister Reese

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Sunday, 9 June 2013

May in the Mission Field

May 9, 2013
I am out in the field. I am in the Chatsworth area (porn capital of the world) and my companion is great, we were meant to be; when I saw her it was like love at first sight. We went out street contacting for a while and talked with two people that we plan on meeting up with and teaching. This area is like starting from scratch, there are no investigators. Much of the work we will do is working with the less active members. We have a car and a blackberry phone and a nice apartment. We also have bikes, but we’ll see if we actually use them. We had a member feed us dinner and she is amazing. She is 84 years old and invests in property. She does all the maintenance on the apartments that she rents out and even finished putting in a sprinkler system in her yard without any help. One of her grandfathers played ball in the street with Joseph Smith’s children; she has a fascinating family history. We have an interesting neighbor; he is on social security, drinks beer, smokes all day and is huge flirt. We got his mail for him (he has a bad back and can’t move around very easily) and we slipped a Plan of Salvation pamphlet into his mail. He is really funny.

May 20, 2013
The work is moving along; we have two more investigators and one potential that we are teaching/working with. Our first investigator is Jennette, she is from El Salvador and we met her my first day working in the field and she is really receptive. Our other investigator is John, he has had a hard life, but is now ready to receive the message of the gospel. Our potential is Robert. He has quite a story…he has an ex-girlfriend who is cursing him and sending devils/demons after him and he is kind of freaking out. He has been given a Book of Mormon and has asked for a Bible to read. He goes down to Mexico every once in a while to see a witch doctor to cure him of the curses, but when he gets back his ex-girlfriend curses him again. We are going to teach him the Gospel, with a focus on faith, baptism, the Holy Ghost and the Priesthood.
I like working with investigators more than the less active members because I like teaching the lessons; in most cases the less actives already know the lessons and they chose to leave for some reason or another. We had stake conference this week and I was able to sing in the choir, we sung “This is the Christ” one of my favorite songs. The stake president gave a talk on how members should be helping more by working with the less actives so that the missionaries could work on finding new people, which is what I think it should be.

May 25, 2013
An update on the work, the ward is very unsupportive of missionary work except for a few members. We have four investigators right now: Jennette and her son Francisco (from El Salvador), Nancy (a member’s mom who is here until June/July), and John (a recovering meth addict). We have other possible investigators: a lesbian, a bar tender, and one who says he has been on a spiritual journey to look for something that’s missing because the Jehovah’s Witness can’t answer his questions who is from Israel. As soon as we started talking with him he went off about how great God is and that people are too obsessed with the world these days. The work is moving along and it will get better over time, but at least there’s more than less actives for us to work with. One less active that we see is Flora, she is 94 years old and in a rest home and the only reason she is considered less active is because she can’t go to church because it is hard to get up and move around. Other than that she is very spiritual and active in doing what she is supposed to. The bishop feels that she should make more of an effort to come to church so that she can get the sacrament; he doesn’t think that they should take her the sacrament every week (this is frustrating for me because I feel that she should be given the sacrament if she is worthy; I guess the bishop has his own ideas and I don’t know what they are.)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Life in the MTC

My companion is Sister Baxter from Bountiful, Utah and she is kind of reserved and really nice. We got to go to the gym and we played volleyball. I don't know if we are allowed to dive for balls, but I accidentally dove for a few balls...I'm going to have to work on that. We spend most of our time traveling to classes, cafeteria, rooms, etc. The food here is better than the U of U cafeteria, but still not that great. I mostly have salads, hard boiled eggs and tater tots.